UPDATE: We reached 25% ! Go you! Go us! Keep it up folks, share with your friends, family and comrades.
As part of our campaign we will be introducing you to our contributors – the fabulous, creative and talented people we’ve recruited for this project.
I’m a writer specialising in the weird and macabre, with Queer Theory (problematizing the ‘normal’) forming the backbone of my work. I write literary fiction, sci-fi, horror, and fantasy. My first novel, Goblin, won the Saltire First Book of the Year Award 2017. I’m currently working on my second novel, HellSans, a science fiction thriller with disability as a major theme.
[Knight Errant Press] Is gender identity a theme that comes up a lot in your writing? If not, what pushed you to explore it this time around?
[Ever]: Yes. Growing up, I was keenly aware of how oppressive gender could be. Because the backbone of all my writing is ‘queering the normal’ and defamiliarisation, tackling the way gender constrains our lives comes up a lot in my writing.
[KEP] Has exploring gender affected your worldview and your writing and reading habits?
[E]: In terms of worldview, it makes me sad and disappointed that we allow gender to constrain our lives – there’s so much lost potential, and so many lost lives. As a writer, I see how much it constrains creativity – writers peddling the same boring gender norms just make me roll my eyes with boredom. We can do better.
[KEP] Was there a particular book, short story, poem or event in your life that inspired you to write your own?
[E]: It’s hard to narrow it down to one – pretty much every book I’ve read has been inspiring. I’ve wanted to write a novel since I was seven and the main books that cemented that ambition as a kid are Groosham Grange by Anthony Horowitz, Run For Your Life by David Line, The Great Ghost Rescue by Eva Ibbotson, and A Box of Nothing by Peter Dickinson. Films like The Princess Bride, Labyrinth and Time Bandits also inspired child-me.
[KEP] What author or book do you think is most underrated? And why? (Prime time for some reading recommendations.)
[E]: Everything by comic writer and artist Charles Burns. I love his bizarre depiction of our world, and his incisive commentary on the rot beneath the suburban veneer. He also deals well with the way children try to make sense of an often baffling adult world, and he captures the fraught tensions of teendom (particularly in Black Hole). I adore his artwork – he’s renowned for heavily stylised large swathes of black ink against crisp white, but he also uses colour to great (and nauseating) effect in the Last Look trilogy. If you want delicious art, existential angst, and lashing of strangeness and body horror, Burns is your creature.
[KEP] Is there any book, written by someone else, that you wish you’d written? Would you change it, if yes – how?
[KEP] What’s the most famous book you haven’t read?/play you haven’t seen?/album you haven’t listened to?/film and TV series you haven’t watched?
[E]: Jane Austen’s books.
Not the most famous, but I wish I’d seen one of the professional productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
I’ve purposively avoided all albums by Oasis and Blur.
I haven’t seen LaLaLand because I’m convinced it will irritate me. I might be proved wrong…
I’ve still to watch The Handmaid’s Tale.
[KEP] Do you ever feel like you have book FOMO (fear of missing out) because of a famous title you haven’t had the chance to read, if so, which one?
[E]: Up until a couple of years ago it was 2001 by Arthur C Clarke. Now it’s everything by Joan Didion.
[KEP] Tea or coffee?
[E]: Damn fine coffee.
[KEP] Early morning or late into the night?
[E]: The gloaming.
[KEP] Digital or analogue?
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